Fundraising totals for the beginning of the 2014 cycle won't be public until next month, but Rep. Scott DesJarlais appears to be getting a little help from his friends after exhausting nearly all of his campaign cash in a scandal-ridden bid for re-election last year.
DesJarlais, who practically emptied his account to win votes in the midst of unflattering revelations from his 2001 divorce, was the beneficiary at a Washington, D.C., fundraiser hosted by at least five of his congressional colleagues last night.
The congressman, who was found to have encouraged two abortions for his ex-wife, slept with women who were his patients and encouraged at least one mistress to terminate a pregnancy while working as a physician in Jasper, handily secured re-election as a pro-life, family values Republican in November. But DesJarlais—who says he has been forgiven, remarried and turned his life around since the events surrounding his prior divorce took place—found GOP primary challengers emerging to unseat him as soon as he was sworn in for a second term in January.
Hosts for last night's fundraiser, which was covered by various state and national media outlets, included Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Along with Issa, Reps. Frank Lucas, R-Okla.; Tom Price, R-Ga.; Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; and John Kilne, R-Minn.; were also hosts for the event.
Regardless of the help from his Capitol colleagues, acquiring sufficient funds to stave off challengers in next year's primary will likely be a tedious task for DesJarlais. Already, state Sen. Jim Tracy has held a major fundraiser with more than 100 supporters, many of whom are former and current elected Tennessee Republicans. State Rep. Joe Carr has also already begun to actively solicit funds for a primary challenge.